Book brouhaha

Social conservative board member vows to protect Ottawa Valley library from "left wing" literature

The Ottawa Citizen reports on the brewing brouhaha at the Bonnechere Union Public Library over what the newest member of the library’s seven-person board of directors claims is a “left wing slant” in the acquisition process. Ken O’Day, who the Citizen describes as “an opponent of same-sex marriage and a frequent critic of feminism and some aspects of the environmental movement” has lashed out at the library for restocking its shelves with left-leaning literature, although the only example he could provide to the Citizen was a book authored by Al Gore. Town librarian Jennifer Coleman recalls that he was also irate over the availability of “Wild Things”, a 14A thriller starring Canadian Neve Campbell. “He can be very intimidating,” she told the Citizen. “He tries to bully people.” For her part, Coleman denies any bias in book selection, and says that the library needs to support all readers. “There are all kinds of beliefs in the community, including some that contradict each other.” Library board chairwoman Doyne Ahern has also dismissed the notion that ideology plays any role in book choice, and says she’s had “difficulty finding out exactly what kinds of books O’Day is objecting to.” The newly reconstituted board next meets in September, and, as Ahern points out, O’Day will have only one vote — “just like everyone else.”

Ottawa Citizen

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